L.A. Laying Groundwork For Hotel At Convention Center As Plan B For NFL Stadium
Acknowledging that their "dreams of attracting a local NFL team may soon be dashed again," L.A. officials have “begun laying the groundwork for the construction of a 1,000-room hotel on city-owned property that would connect directly to the Convention Center,” according to David Zahniser of the L.A. TIMES. The L.A. City Council “has a deal" with developer AEG to "build a 72,000-seat stadium between the Convention Center and the 110 Freeway.” But with that pact “set to expire in five months and the NFL remaining coy about its intentions, officials have begun looking at other strategies for boosting tourism and renovating the facility.” L.A. Convention Center Exec Dir Bud Ovrom said, "We have to be ready with a Plan B.” But L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said it was "highly improbable" a team would come to L.A. this year. Ridley-Thomas said NFL owners "don't appear to be in any big hurry to do a deal.” Ridley-Thomas: “When a deal is moving, it's not a secret." Zahniser noted officials for AEG, which currently has a contract with L.A. to run the facility, “have publicly recognized L.A.'s need for a backup plan at its convention facility.” AEG VP/Communications Michael Roth said, "Although building this project with an NFL stadium has always been our top priority, we share the city's objective of modernizing and expanding the Convention Center and are cooperating with city officials to offer our input and assistance to identify a feasible Plan B should one be needed" (L.A. TIMES, 5/11).